By Rachel Coleman

Whether appointed or elected, every six years each superior court judge in California must hit the streets to shake hands, kiss babies and raise campaign funds for the upcoming election – if they have an opponent. On June 5 this year, Ventura County will see the following Superior Court judges up for re-election: John R. Smiley; Colleen Toy White; Brian J. Back; Henry J. Walsh; Glen M. Reiser; Mark S. Borrell; and
David M. Hirsch. Most run unopposed, which means avoiding the campaign trail and the scramble to drum up much-needed campaign dollars.

This June, Brad Bjelke, a Thousand Oaks business and employment attorney, is gunning for Judge Walsh’s seat on the bench. George Manus, also a local Thousand Oaks attorney, filed a Declaration of Candidacy and paid the filing fee to run against Judge Hirsch. However, Mr. Manus did not file the nomination paperwork with the elections division of the county recorder’s office by the March 9 deadline. As such, it appears that Judge Hirsch will now run unopposed.

While the life of a judge may seem glamorous to all those people who watch “Law and Order” or re-runs of “Perry Mason,” come election time that life isn’t so glamorous. In order to start the process of re-election,
all superior court judges up for re-election must file a Declaration of Candidacy “within 30 days before August 16 preceding the expiration of the judge’s term.” If the declaration is not filed, the Governor shall
nominate a candidate before Sept. 16. (Cal.Const., Art. 6, §6(d) (1).)

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